On Missing Mim

Its been about six weeks since we put Mim to sleep. I thought it might be time to talk a little bit about what happened, why we made the decision we did and how we're dealing with missing her.

When we first adopted Mim we had every idea that she would live a long, happy life with us. We knew that it would be a wobbly life, because of what we then thought was her Cerebellar Hypoplasia, but we thought that we would have her for a long time. It became obvious to us after about four months of adopting her that something was very wrong, and that she was a road of deterioration that we weren't able to stop.

We took her to a feline neurologist (Blue Pearl Veterinary in Brooklyn, who we would absolutely recommend) in December and the vet put her on a course of steroids and physical therapy at home with us. We took her back in late January and the vet said that while she had gained some strength from the steroids, they were dangerous for her and the strength she had would vanish once we took her off of them. Dr. Williams said that while we didn't need to think about putting Mim to sleep immediately, it was something we needed to prepare ourselves for. She was still happy, she said.

One of the last pictures I have her her. She looks so cozy! 
On February 6th I came home from work and fed Mim. I ate dinner, I gave her an egg yolk (something that was recommended to give her some extra protein) and then gave her a bath since she had gotten a little dirty during the day. I took her out of the sink, and put her on her yellow towel. I turned around for three seconds and when I turned back around, I saw that she had an accident and that there was blood.

I dried her off as much as I could, wrapped her up in her carrier and ran out the door and to our usual vet, which is thankfully open until midnight (Animal Kind on 7th Avenue who we would also recommend). The vet took one look at her (and her medical records) and told me that she had a bladder infection because she wasn't emptying her bladder all the way because of her condition. She told me we would have to start manually emptying her bladder and that was it, I knew. John was still at work so I called him and I called my parents. John couldn't leave work for about an hour because he still had students with him so I called Shannon who came straight there from the city.

The vet put us in a room downstairs that was kind of crazy but none the less cozy, and me and Shannon sat with her until Becca and John got there. When it was time, Becca and Shannon went upstairs and we stayed with Mim. We held her and cried  and told her how much we loved her and how much we would miss her. When it was over I kissed her goodbye and we went home to an emptier house.

We absolutely knew that we made the right decision, but that didn't make it any less hard. All the vets we saw with Mim told us we would know when the time was, and for us, it was that night. She had dealt with so much: not being able to walk, weakness, not being able to use the litterbox anymore. Keeping her alive and having to manually empty her bladder would have been selfish and we knew it wasn't the life she deserved.

But oh were we sad. We're still sad. On Sunday afternoon, John and I picked up her ashes. If you had told me a year ago that I would be someone who would have their cat cremated I would have told you you were insane. But here we are. They made us an imprint of her paw and she's in a lovely tin that I think we'll upgrade sometime soon. She's on the bookshelf behind the big green chair where I held her every night for almost a year.

We miss her terribly and can't thank all of you enough for your kind words over the past month.

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